San Jos� State University - Spring 2009
Professor Asha W. Agrawal

URBP 178/256 & ENVI 178 - Transportation Planning - Local Issues

Course overview and objectives

This course introduces students to key transportation planning issues dealt with at the municipal level, including residential street design, coordination of land-use and transportation planning, transit planning, approaches to addressing traffic congestion, and parking policy.

As students learn about these different transportation planning topics, the course will also teach a number of key skills critical to any transportation planner.  By the end of the semester, students who successfully complete the course will learn to:

  1. Do they improve accessibility for all modes (e.g., private vehicles, transit vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists)?

  2. Do they improve accessibility for all population groups?

  3. Do they improve local quality of life (beyond providing accessibility benefits)?

  4. Do they reduce impacts of the transportation system on the natural environment?

  5. Do they equitably distribute the costs and/or benefits of the transportation system?

(SJSU course catalogue descriptions: URBP 256: Examination of transportation planning issues addressed at the neighborhood and municipal level. Not to substitute for transportation engineering. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes.  //  ENVS 178 & URBP 178: Overview of urban transportation as a social essential. Technical, operational, social, environmental, land use, economic and fiscal aspects of urban transportation systems of all modes. Prerequisite: Upper division standing or instructor consent.)

Class meetings:  Thursdays,  7:15 � 10:00 p.m., in Clark Hall 229 (campus map)

How to contact Professor Asha Weinstein Agrawal

Contact info

Office: Room 218C in Washington Square Hall (enter through room 216)
Email: asha.weinstein.agrawal(at)
Phone: (408) 924-5853
Instructor website:

Please note that it is usually faster to reach me by email than by leaving a phone message.

Office hours

I welcome students to come talk to me often during office hours, whether about a specific question or merely to chat about ideas relating to the course or your general studies at SJSU.

My office hours for the Spring 2009 semester are Wednesdays, 9:30 � 11:30 a.m., and Thursdays, 2:30 � 5:30 p.m.  Feel free either to drop by or call during these times. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment during these times.

While I make every effort to attend all office hours, occasionally I might be unavailable due to illness or an emergency.  Before coming to see me, I suggest that you call or email to confirm that I will be available.

If you wish to speak to me but are unable during my office hours, ask to arrange an alternate time to meet in person or speak on the phone.

Course texts

1. Weekly readings

Readings for the course will be available on-line either on the web or through the SJSU library's electronic course reserves system.  If you need help accessing the electronic reserves, the process is explained at the library's "Electronic Reserves Help" page.

I will also hand out a small number of additional articles in class.  If you miss class, be sure to check with another student to borrow any handouts you may have missed.

2. Style book

Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, 7th ed. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

This book is available for purchase at the campus bookstore, as well as at many bookstores around the Bay Area and on-line.  Be sure to buy the correct edition.

Course assignments

Students are expected to attend all class sessions, complete assigned readings, and complete these written assignments:

Course assignments % of course grade
1. Organization analysis 20%
2. Policy effectiveness analysis 30%
3. General plan sustainability analysis 25%
4. Weekly memos 25%

Attending lectures

Students should attend all classes and participate fully in discussions and class exercises, as these are critical to learning the course content.

If you know that you will have to miss all or part of a class, please let me know in advance. Please also follow common rules of courtesy to keep from disrupting the class: e.g., do not arrive late, and turn off cell phones and pagers.

Students should not use laptops during class.

Weekly memo assignments

For most of the class sessions, there will be an associated memo assignment. The memos will help you to better understand the issues covered in the readings and prepare you for productive in-class discussions.

Memo formatting requirements:

Due dates and grading policies:

SJSU policy on academic integrity

SJSU's Policy on Academic Integrity states:

Students should know that the University�s Academic Integrity Policy is available at Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University�s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The website for Student Conduct and Ethical Development is available at

Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person�s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU�s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.

Citing sources and avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of someone else�s language, images, data, or ideas without proper attribution. It is a very serious offense both in the university and in your professional work. In essence, plagiarism is both theft and lying: you have stolen someone else�s ideas, and then lied by implying that they are your own.

Plagiarism will lead to grade penalties and a record filed with the SJSU Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. In severe cases, students may also fail the course or even be expelled from the university.

If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, it is your responsibility to make sure you clarify the issues before you hand in draft or final work.

Learning when to cite a source and when not to is an art, not a science, and it is impossible to list every possible type of plagiarism. However, here are some typical examples of plagiarism that you should pay particular attention to avoid:

The University of Indiana has developed a very helpful website with concrete examples about proper paraphrasing and quotation. See in particular the following pages:

On the last page listed, you will find a quiz to test how well you understand proper paraphrasing. 

If you still have questions after reading these pages, feel free to talk to me. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, whereas even unintentional plagiarism is a serious offense.

Course citation style

When you cite another author�s work in any assignment for the course, use footnotes and a bibliography formatted following the directions in Kate Turabian�s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed., University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Note that Turabian�s book describes two systems for referencing materials: (1) "notes" (footnotes or endnotes), plus a corresponding bibliography, and (2) in-text parenthetical references, plus a corresponding reference list. Be sure to use the first system, with footnotes and a bibliography, for all work you turn in during the semester.

There are many websites that give guidance on Turabian-style citations, but many include incorrect or incomplete information. Therefore, you need to work from the book itself.

Campus policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon possible, or see me during office hours. SJSU Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the SJSU Disability Resource Center to establish a record of their disability.

You can find information about the services SJSU offers to accommodate disabled students at

Course schedule (schedule will be updated with new readings and possible adjustments to lecture topics, with notice given in class or via email)


*          *          *          *          *

Week 1: January 22


Week 2: January 29

Due: Memo #1: Accessibility for All (memo assignments here)


Required readings

Recommended readings:


Week 3: February 5

Due: Memo #2: Livable Streets (memo assignments here)


Required readings

Recommended readings:

Week 4: February 12

Due: Memo #3: Traffic Calming (memo assignments here)


Required readings:

Recommended readings:

Week 5: February 19

Due: Memo #4: Walkability Audit (memo assignments here)


Required reading

Recommended reading

Week 6: February 26

Due: Organization analysis

Due: Memo #5 (memo assignments here)


Required readings:

Recommended readings:

Week 7: March 5

Due: Memo #6 (memo assignments here)


Required reading:

Recommended reading:

Week 8: March 12

No class. (A Friday afternoon field trip will be scheduled to replace this class.)

Friday, March 13, 3:00 p.m.: Field trip to meet with Kevin Mathy, the Google Transportation Manager
(We will meet at Google's Mountain View headquarters. More details to come in class.)

Week 9: March 19

Due: Memo #7: "The Congestion Terminator" (memo assignments here)


Required reading

Recommended reading:

*** NO CLASS MARCH 26 - Spring Break ***

Week 10: April 2

Due: Memo #8 on equity: (memo assignments here)


Required readings:

Recommended readings:

Week 11: April 9

Due: Memo #9 on the Grand Boulevard (memo assignments here)


Required readings: See the memo assignment for the required reading

Recommended readings:

Week 12: April 16

Due: Memo #10 on parking policy at SJSU (memo assignments here)


Required readings:

Recommended reading:

Week 13: April 23

          6:00 - 7:30 p.m.: Panel discussion on the Future of Diridon Station (DMH 150) -- optional but recommended

          8:00 - 10:00 p.m.: Class meets in regular classroom (CL 229)

Due: Policy Effectiveness Analysis Papers (for group 1 URBP 256 students)

Topics: Student presentations of policy effectiveness analysis papers

No reading and no memo.

Week 14: April 30

Due: Policy Effectiveness Analysis Papers (for URBP 256 group 2 students, and for URBP 178/ENVI 178 students)

Topics: Student presentations of policy effectiveness analysis papers

No reading and no memo.

Week 15: May 7

Due: Memo #11: (memo assignments here)


Required readings

Monday, May 18: General plan sustainability analysis due, by email, by the end of the day

Exam period: May 21, 7:15 - 9:15 p.m.


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Page last modified: 8 May 2009